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Rating Action:

Moody's changes outlooks to negative on 82 long-term European bank ratings

29 May 2014

Affirms long-term ratings of 109 European financial institutions, upgrades one

London, 29 May 2014 -- Moody's Investors Service has today affirmed the long-term ratings of 105 banks in the European Union (EU), Norway and Liechtenstein. Of these banks, Moody's (i) changed the outlook to negative on 81 long-term ratings, (ii) changed the outlook to stable from positive on two long-term ratings, (iii) maintained the outlook at stable on 18 long-term ratings and (iv) maintained the outlook at positive on four long-term ratings.

In addition, Moody's has today upgraded the long-term and short-term deposit ratings of Ceskoslovenska obchodna banka a.s. (CSOB Slovakia), a fully-owned subsidiary of KBC Bank NV, to Baa2/Prime-2 from Baa3/Prime-3, and changed the outlook on the long-term deposit rating to negative from stable; this takes the total number of outlook changes to negative to 82.

Further, Moody's has today affirmed the long-term ratings and stable outlooks assigned to four Nordic government-related issuers (GRIs); this takes the total number of European financial institutions whose long-term ratings have been affirmed to 109

Please click on this link http://www.moodys.com/viewresearchdoc.aspx?docid=PBC_171218 for the List of Affected Credit Ratings. This list is an integral part of this press release and identifies each affected issuer.

These actions follow the recent adoption of the Bank Recovery and Resolution Directive (BRRD) and the Single Resolution Mechanism (SRM) regulation in the EU. The negative outlooks reflect Moody's view that, with the legislation underlying the new resolution framework now in place and the explicit inclusion of burden-sharing with unsecured creditors as a means of reducing the public cost of bank resolutions, the balance of risk for banks' senior unsecured creditors has shifted to the downside. While Moody's support assessments are unchanged for now, the probability has risen that they will be revised downwards to reflect the new framework.

Moody's will continue to assess the implications of the BRRD/SRM package for systemic support as the new framework develops and there is further clarity as to how it might be applied in practice. Moody's will take into account a variety of considerations (see Rating Rationale) including those that could mitigate the credit-negative implications for systemic support assessments. Should Moody's determine that the probability of support has materially changed, affected issuers' ratings would be placed under review to consider their specific circumstances.

By EU country, 12 German banks were affected, ten French banks, eight Austrian banks, five Swedish banks, four Italian banks, three Dutch banks, two Spanish banks, and one UK bank. Another 24 banks in other EU member states were also affected.

While not subject to the BRRD and SRM, 12 banks from Norway and one bank from Liechtenstein were among those whose outlooks were changed to negative. This reflects Moody's expectation, based on public comments as well as their governments' track record of mirroring EU banking regulations, that these jurisdictions will look to introduce legislation or other tools that include mechanisms similar to those in the BRRD.

RATINGS RATIONALE

--- AFFIRMATION OF LONG-TERM RATINGS AND CHANGE OF OUTLOOK TO NEGATIVE

With the European Parliament's recent vote to adopt the BRRD and SRM, the shape of the EU resolution framework is becoming increasingly clear, says Moody's. EU officials and politicians have repeatedly stressed their intention to protect taxpayers from bearing the cost of future bank resolutions. The new resolution framework is intended to give effect to this objective, including by providing for the bail-in of senior creditors to recapitalise banks where needed.

The BRRD is to be transposed into EU member countries' national laws by year-end 2014, and enter into force on 1 January 2015. The clearly stated aim of including senior unsecured creditors in any future burden-sharing, and the creation of a framework to allow that to be realized, marks an important development, with clear (if as yet difficult to measure) credit-negative implications for holders of senior unsecured bank debt in Europe.

Furthermore, the SRM Regulation, applicable only to euro area banks, creates a Single Resolution Board tasked with determining the 'least cost' path to resolving troubled banks. Moody's says that the existence of a central decision-making body with the means to fund at least part of a bank resolution provides a further limit on the potential involvement of national authorities in the management of troubled banks. Thus making it more likely that a resolution process would be triggered and the bail-in tool used, to the detriment of senior unsecured creditors.

The assignment of negative outlooks to the banks covered by this action reflects the above credit-negative developments for senior unsecured creditors.

Moody's will continue to assess the implications of the resolution framework for systemic support assessments as the new framework develops and there is further clarity as to how it might be applied in practice, including the following considerations:

--- The new framework provides some latitude for authorities (national and supra-national) to effect a bank resolution that does not include bail-in of senior unsecured creditors if, for example, doing so would unduly undermine broader financial stability;

--- The complexity associated with resolving large, cross-border banks will always be a challenge, and could limit the use of the bail-in tool; and,

--- Losses for creditors under the new framework could be lower than those in past insolvency proceedings, dampening the impact on senior unsecured debt or deposit ratings.

For Allied Irish Banks p.l.c. (AIB), Moody's has affirmed the deposit ratings with negative outlook, and affirmed the senior debt rating with stable outlook. Specific to AIB, this reflects that the difference in uplift due to systemic support between AIB's senior debt and deposit ratings -- one notch and two notches, respectively -- may be eliminated.

ADDITIONAL RATING ACTIONS

Moreover Moody's has:

--- affirmed the supported ratings and changed the outlook to stable from positive for two banks. While the positive outlooks were previously driven by either an improvement of the bank's standalone rating or an improvement in the government's capacity to provide support, the change to stable reflects the negative influence of the BRRD/SRM framework.

--- affirmed the supported ratings and maintained the stable outlook on 18 banks including: (i) 17 entities that are considered domestically important, for which Moody's already assesses a moderate probability of systemic support, and for which Moody's does not currently expect this probability to decline to any material degree, even after full implementation of the BRRD; and (ii) one wind-down entity, Caisse Centrale du Credit Immobilier de France (Baa2 stable; E/ca stable), which is already the recipient of systemic support and for which Moody's considers that the support mechanism in place will not be modified after implementation of the BRRD.

--- affirmed the supported ratings and maintained the positive outlook for four domestically important banks where either the government's capacity to provide support is increasing -- as reflected in the positive outlook on the government bond rating -- or the bank's underlying credit strength is improving and only modest support is factored into the current rating.

--- affirmed the long term rating and stable outlook for four Nordic government related issuers (GRIs). Municipality Finance plc in Finland (Aaa stable) and Kommuninvest i Sverige Aktiebolag in Sweden (Aaa stable) are guaranteed by their local governments. While the interaction between guaranteed debt and the bail in tool is not entirely clear, Moody's does not currently believe that the likelihood of governments being able or required to bail in such debt is sufficiently high to warrant a negative outlook. Swedish Export Credit Corporation (SEK, Aa1 stable) is already rated one notch below the Swedish sovereign, which in Moody's view reflects an adequate level of uncertainty over support. Kommunalbanken AS's Aaa stable rating reflects Moody's very high expectations of support from the Norwegian government (Aaa stable), which Moody's believes will have greater latitude in implementing the BRRD in a manner that would allow it to continue to support the entities it sees as closest to the government, including Kommunalbanken.

- upgraded the long-term and short-term deposit ratings of Ceskoslovenska obchodna banka a.s. (CSOB Slovakia), a fully-owned subsidiary of KBC Bank NV, to Baa2/Prime-2 from Baa3/Prime-3, and changed the outlook on the long-term deposit rating to negative from stable. This upgrade was prompted by the strengthened financial capacity of the Belgian parent group, KBC Bank, as indicated by Moody's upgrade on 8 May of the bank's standalone Bank Financial Strength Rating (BFSR) to C- (mapping to a baseline credit assessment of baa2) from D+/baa3 and the upgrade of KBC Bank's long-term debt and deposit ratings to A2 from A3. The assigned negative outlook reflects our systemic support assessment imbedded in the deposit ratings and BRRD-related considerations discussed in this press release.

Today's rating actions do not include all EU banks whose senior unsecured debt and deposit ratings currently benefit from systemic support. The following categories were excluded from the action:

--- Banks whose debt and deposit ratings already carry a negative outlook (78 in total). However, Moody's will factor in the implications of the new resolution framework in its ongoing assessment of these ratings.

--- Banks which are subsidiaries of non-EU parent banks and which Moody's rates using a credit substitution mechanism (nine in total). The systemic support incorporated in these banks' ratings reflects that received from non-EU home governments and is not affected by the BRRD/SRM framework.

--- Banks explicitly excluded from the BRRD framework (nine issuers) or whose debt benefits from a state guarantee Moody's does not consider the BRRD would undermine (five issuers).

Junior debt instruments are not affected by this action. Moody's has already removed all systemic support from junior instruments of European banks.

Moody's has also published today a special comment entitled " Reassessing Systemic Support for EU Banks," which provides more details on the factors behind today's rating actions

http://www.moodys.com/viewresearchdoc.aspx?docid=PBC_170460

Please see the subsequent individual credit opinion of each respective issuer on moodys.com for the more detailed implications of this rating action.

REGULATORY DISCLOSURES

Please click on this link http://www.moodys.com/viewresearchdoc.aspx?docid=PBC_171218 for the List of Affected Credit Ratings. This list is an integral part of this Press Release and provides, for each of the credit ratings covered, Moody's disclosures on the following items:

• Principal methodologies used

• Unsolicited ratings

• Non participating issuers

• [EU only] participation in unsolicited ratings

• Person approving the credit rating

• Releasing office

For ratings issued on a program, series or category/class of debt, this announcement provides certain regulatory disclosures in relation to each rating of a subsequently issued bond or note of the same series or category/class of debt or pursuant to a program for which the ratings are derived exclusively from existing ratings in accordance with Moody's rating practices. For ratings issued on a support provider, this announcement provides certain regulatory disclosures in relation to the rating action on the support provider and in relation to each particular rating action for securities that derive their credit ratings from the support provider's credit rating. For provisional ratings, this announcement provides certain regulatory disclosures in relation to the provisional rating assigned, and in relation to a definitive rating that may be assigned subsequent to the final issuance of the debt, in each case where the transaction structure and terms have not changed prior to the assignment of the definitive rating in a manner that would have affected the rating. For further information please see the ratings tab on the issuer/entity page for the respective issuer on www.moodys.com.

For any affected securities or rated entities receiving direct credit support from the primary entities of this rating action, and whose ratings may change as a result of this rating action, the associated regulatory disclosures will be those of the guarantor entity. Exceptions to this approach exist for the following disclosures, if applicable to jurisdiction: Ancillary Services, Disclosure to rated entity, Disclosure from rated entity.

Please click on this link http://www.moodys.com/viewresearchdoc.aspx?docid=PBC_171218 for the List of Affected Credit Ratings for the specific designation of unsolicited ratings.

Please click on this link http://www.moodys.com/viewresearchdoc.aspx?docid=PBC_171218 for the List of Affected Credit Ratings for the specific designation of participating issuers in unsolicited ratings.

Please click on this link http://www.moodys.com/viewresearchdoc.aspx?docid=PBC_171218 for the List of Affected Credit Ratings for the specific designation of non participating issuers.

The below contact information is provided for information purposes only. Please see the ratings tab of the issuer page at www.moodys.com, for each of the ratings covered, Moody's disclosures on the lead analyst and the Moody's legal entity that has issued the ratings.

The relevant Releasing Office for each rating is identified under the Debt/Tranche List section on the Ratings tab of each issuer/entity page on moodys.com.

Regulatory disclosures contained in this press release apply to the credit rating and, if applicable, the related rating outlook or rating review.

Please see www.moodys.com for any updates on changes to the lead rating analyst and to the Moody's legal entity that has issued the rating.

Please see the ratings tab on the issuer/entity page on www.moodys.com for additional regulatory disclosures for each credit rating.

Johannes Felix Wassenberg
MD - Banking
Financial Institutions Group
Moody's Investors Service Ltd.
One Canada Square
Canary Wharf
London E14 5FA
United Kingdom
JOURNALISTS: 44 20 7772 5456
SUBSCRIBERS: 44 20 7772 5454

Carola Schuler
MD - Banking
Financial Institutions Group
JOURNALISTS: 44 20 7772 5456
SUBSCRIBERS: 44 20 7772 5454

Releasing Office:
Moody's Investors Service Ltd.
One Canada Square
Canary Wharf
London E14 5FA
United Kingdom
JOURNALISTS: 44 20 7772 5456
SUBSCRIBERS: 44 20 7772 5454

Moody's changes outlooks to negative on 82 long-term European bank ratings
No Related Data.
© 2019 Moody’s Corporation, Moody’s Investors Service, Inc., Moody’s Analytics, Inc. and/or their licensors and affiliates (collectively, “MOODY’S”). All rights reserved.

CREDIT RATINGS ISSUED BY MOODY'S INVESTORS SERVICE, INC. AND ITS RATINGS AFFILIATES (“MIS”) ARE MOODY’S CURRENT OPINIONS OF THE RELATIVE FUTURE CREDIT RISK OF ENTITIES, CREDIT COMMITMENTS, OR DEBT OR DEBT-LIKE SECURITIES, AND MOODY’S PUBLICATIONS MAY INCLUDE MOODY’S CURRENT OPINIONS OF THE RELATIVE FUTURE CREDIT RISK OF ENTITIES, CREDIT COMMITMENTS, OR DEBT OR DEBT-LIKE SECURITIES. MOODY’S DEFINES CREDIT RISK AS THE RISK THAT AN ENTITY MAY NOT MEET ITS CONTRACTUAL FINANCIAL OBLIGATIONS AS THEY COME DUE AND ANY ESTIMATED FINANCIAL LOSS IN THE EVENT OF DEFAULT OR IMPAIRMENT. SEE MOODY’S RATING SYMBOLS AND DEFINITIONS PUBLICATION FOR INFORMATION ON THE TYPES OF CONTRACTUAL FINANCIAL OBLIGATIONS ADDRESSED BY MOODY’S RATINGS. CREDIT RATINGS DO NOT ADDRESS ANY OTHER RISK, INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED TO: LIQUIDITY RISK, MARKET VALUE RISK, OR PRICE VOLATILITY. CREDIT RATINGS AND MOODY’S OPINIONS INCLUDED IN MOODY’S PUBLICATIONS ARE NOT STATEMENTS OF CURRENT OR HISTORICAL FACT. MOODY’S PUBLICATIONS MAY ALSO INCLUDE QUANTITATIVE MODEL-BASED ESTIMATES OF CREDIT RISK AND RELATED OPINIONS OR COMMENTARY PUBLISHED BY MOODY’S ANALYTICS, INC. CREDIT RATINGS AND MOODY’S PUBLICATIONS DO NOT CONSTITUTE OR PROVIDE INVESTMENT OR FINANCIAL ADVICE, AND CREDIT RATINGS AND MOODY’S PUBLICATIONS ARE NOT AND DO NOT PROVIDE RECOMMENDATIONS TO PURCHASE, SELL, OR HOLD PARTICULAR SECURITIES. NEITHER CREDIT RATINGS NOR MOODY’S PUBLICATIONS COMMENT ON THE SUITABILITY OF AN INVESTMENT FOR ANY PARTICULAR INVESTOR. MOODY’S ISSUES ITS CREDIT RATINGS AND PUBLISHES MOODY’S PUBLICATIONS WITH THE EXPECTATION AND UNDERSTANDING THAT EACH INVESTOR WILL, WITH DUE CARE, MAKE ITS OWN STUDY AND EVALUATION OF EACH SECURITY THAT IS UNDER CONSIDERATION FOR PURCHASE, HOLDING, OR SALE.

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Moody’s Investors Service, Inc., a wholly-owned credit rating agency subsidiary of Moody’s Corporation (“MCO”), hereby discloses that most issuers of debt securities (including corporate and municipal bonds, debentures, notes and commercial paper) and preferred stock rated by Moody’s Investors Service, Inc. have, prior to assignment of any rating, agreed to pay to Moody’s Investors Service, Inc. for ratings opinions and services rendered by it fees ranging from $1,000 to approximately $2,700,000. MCO and MIS also maintain policies and procedures to address the independence of MIS’s ratings and rating processes. Information regarding certain affiliations that may exist between directors of MCO and rated entities, and between entities who hold ratings from MIS and have also publicly reported to the SEC an ownership interest in MCO of more than 5%, is posted annually at www.moodys.com under the heading “Investor Relations — Corporate Governance — Director and Shareholder Affiliation Policy.”

Additional terms for Australia only: Any publication into Australia of this document is pursuant to the Australian Financial Services License of MOODY’S affiliate, Moody’s Investors Service Pty Limited ABN 61 003 399 657AFSL 336969 and/or Moody’s Analytics Australia Pty Ltd ABN 94 105 136 972 AFSL 383569 (as applicable). This document is intended to be provided only to “wholesale clients” within the meaning of section 761G of the Corporations Act 2001. By continuing to access this document from within Australia, you represent to MOODY’S that you are, or are accessing the document as a representative of, a “wholesale client” and that neither you nor the entity you represent will directly or indirectly disseminate this document or its contents to “retail clients” within the meaning of section 761G of the Corporations Act 2001. MOODY’S credit rating is an opinion as to the creditworthiness of a debt obligation of the issuer, not on the equity securities of the issuer or any form of security that is available to retail investors.

Additional terms for Japan only: Moody's Japan K.K. (“MJKK”) is a wholly-owned credit rating agency subsidiary of Moody's Group Japan G.K., which is wholly-owned by Moody’s Overseas Holdings Inc., a wholly-owned subsidiary of MCO. Moody’s SF Japan K.K. (“MSFJ”) is a wholly-owned credit rating agency subsidiary of MJKK. MSFJ is not a Nationally Recognized Statistical Rating Organization (“NRSRO”). Therefore, credit ratings assigned by MSFJ are Non-NRSRO Credit Ratings. Non-NRSRO Credit Ratings are assigned by an entity that is not a NRSRO and, consequently, the rated obligation will not qualify for certain types of treatment under U.S. laws. MJKK and MSFJ are credit rating agencies registered with the Japan Financial Services Agency and their registration numbers are FSA Commissioner (Ratings) No. 2 and 3 respectively.

MJKK or MSFJ (as applicable) hereby disclose that most issuers of debt securities (including corporate and municipal bonds, debentures, notes and commercial paper) and preferred stock rated by MJKK or MSFJ (as applicable) have, prior to assignment of any rating, agreed to pay to MJKK or MSFJ (as applicable) for ratings opinions and services rendered by it fees ranging from JPY125,000 to approximately JPY250,000,000.

MJKK and MSFJ also maintain policies and procedures to address Japanese regulatory requirements.

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